- The Washington Times - Monday, October 13, 2003

Leisure suits

Bernard Goldberg, who spent 28 years as a CBS newsman, only to rock his employer and the entire media establishment with his best seller “Bias,” is preparing to publish again.

Mr. Goldberg is now a reporter for HBO. His “Arrogance: Rescuing America From the Media Elite,” goes beyond “Bias” and reveals how “entrenched biases” exist in leading news organizations — newspapers to TV — and how too many media elites sneeringly dismiss anyone who criticizes them.

“If the media elite maintain their arrogance and don’t change,” warns the longtime CBS correspondent, “they’ll cease to be serious players in the national conversation and become the journalism equivalent of the leisure suit — harmless enough but hopelessly out of date.”

Mr. Goldberg’s book, set for release by Warner Books on Nov. 3, features conversations with NBC’s Tim Russert and Bob Costas, “a [very] few minutes with Andy Rooney” of CBS, and examines ABC’s Barbara Walters as “guardian of standards.”

As for our favorite chapter title: “And the Nobel Prize for Hillary-Gushing Goes To …”

Written word

We in the print trade often preach the importance of reading a newspaper to fully understand an issue that can’t possibly be explained in a one-minute television sound bite.

Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, similarly feels that no obligation a congressman has “is greater than that of making clear to those we are privileged to represent why we vote as we do, especially on important issues.”

Because allotted debate time for President Bush’s proposed $87 billion appropriation for Iraq and Afghanistan will be too limited for congressmen “fully to explain themselves,” Mr. Frank has outlined his position in writing and submitted it to Congress for lawmakers and Americans to read.

Among states

Each of the 50 states gets a pair of statues, and Democratic D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton says it’s only fair that statues honoring two deceased residents of the District be erected in Statuary Hall with the others.

She has the support of Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, Virginia Republican, who with the delegate has introduced a bill to place the two additional statues in the historic hall.

The bill would allow D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams and the City Council to devise the method for choosing the honorees. The mayor already has agreed to find funds in the District’s budget for the statues upon passage of the legislation.

It wasn’t too long ago that Mrs. Norton cried foul when mint makers cast designs for 50 state quarters. Now, a D.C. coin is in the works.

Gas gouging

One congressmen is so fed up with unforeseen spikes in gasoline prices he is calling on President Bush and the Justice Department “to prosecute all wrongdoing to the fullest extent of the law.”

Rep. Steven R. Rothman, New Jersey Democrat, says he was stunned to see gas prices rise in his state by more than 30 cents per gallon in the space of one recent week.

Besides cash-strapped consumers, he points out that municipalities budget more than a year in advance for gasoline purchases for police cars, public works trucks and heating oil for public buildings.

And while he still wants the feds to target companies that deliberately gouge consumers, the congressman says local governments are sick of waiting.

New Jersey Mayors David L. Ganz of Fair Lawn and Jim Carroll of Demerest, he says, persuaded the state Legislature to consider an investigation of suspect oil companies.

The congressman, meanwhile, wants Mr. Bush to consider releasing oil from the 22-billion-barrel strategic petroleum reserve, so as to provide consumers immediate relief.

Squaring a circle

The more than 70 local chapters of homosexual Democrats who last week decried President Bush’s “Marriage Protection Week” as an “anti-gay lobby campaign,” have now decided to “heed the president’s call” by educating Democrats on same-sex “marriage.”

We turn to F.R. Duplantier, our favorite political limerist, for his reaction:

There’s nothing new under the sun:

Two women or men can’t be one

And only a jerk’ll

Try squaring a circle

‘Cause some things aren’t meant to be done.

• John McCaslin, a nationally syndicated columnist, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected]

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